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[maw-suh-lee-uh m, -zuh-] /ˌmɔ səˈli əm, -zə-/
noun, plural mausoleums, mausolea
[maw-suh-lee-uh, -zuh-] /ˌmɔ səˈli ə, -zə-/ (Show IPA)
a stately and magnificent tomb.
a burial place for the bodies or remains of many individuals, often of a single family, usually in the form of a small building.
a large, gloomy, depressing building, room, or the like.
(initial capital letter) the tomb erected at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor in 350? b.c.
Origin of mausoleum
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English < Latin < Greek Mausoleîon the tomb of Mausolus, king of Caria
Related forms
mausolean, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mausoleum
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The revisiting of old scenes is like walking into a mausoleum.

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
  • But you know that my memory is merely a mausoleum of proper names.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • And they went likewise to see the figure of our Lawgiver in the Pope's mausoleum.

  • One could not mistake a group from the temple at Phigaleia for a group from the mausoleum.

  • His remains were afterwards removed to the mausoleum at Frogmore.

    The Stamps of Canada Bertram Poole
  • Augustus was not the first member of the family to occupy the mausoleum.

    Pagan and Christian Rome Rodolfo Lanciani
  • The vicissitudes of the mausoleum did not end with this change of religion and ownership.

    Pagan and Christian Rome Rodolfo Lanciani
British Dictionary definitions for mausoleum


noun (pl) -leums, -lea (-ˈlɪə)
a large stately tomb
Derived Forms
mausolean, adjective
Word Origin
C16: via Latin from Greek mausōleion, the tomb of Mausolus, king of Caria; built at Halicarnassus in the 4th century bc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mausoleum

"magnificent tomb," 1540s, from Latin mausoleum, from Greek Mausoleion, name of the massive marble tomb built 353 B.C.E. at Halicarnassus (Greek city in Asia Minor) for Mausolos, Persian satrap who made himself king of Caria. It was built by his wife (and sister), Artemisia. Counted among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, it was destroyed by an earthquake in the Middle Ages. General sense of "any stately burial-place" is from c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mausoleum in Culture
mausoleum [(maw-suh-lee-uhm, maw-zuh-lee-uhm)]

A tomb, or a building containing tombs. Mausoleums are often richly decorated. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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